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Date Posted: 16:28:52 03/13/10 Sat
Author: Larry
Subject: I was looking at this
In reply to: Donald F. Valtman 's message, "Re: What's up?" on 10:16:26 03/13/10 Sat

As you noted, Gwinnett was quiet while there was uproar from DeKalk and Fulton. I looked at their budgets trying to see why this would happen. I found out, sort of.

I was looking for something GCPS did that the others didn’t, like refinancing debt and transferring debt service to the general fund. There were a few things, but nothing sizable enough to explain it. Then I noticed the real difference.

All three are short around the same dollar amount. The thing is, Dekalb and Fulton are less than half the size of GCPS. This means DeKalb and Fulton will have to cut twice as much, relatively, as Gwinnett.

This explains the yelling, but I still don’t know why the situation exists. About the only thing for certain is that it has to do with past budgets and didn’t happen just this year.

There are some visible things, like eliminating instrumental music instruction from elementary schools, which will create a backlash in systems other than Gwinnett because we never had such things, but the double cuts seem to be the actual cause.

As to what GCPS will do, I expect they’ll go to less than 180 instruction days. They have something like .75 mill left before an increase requires a referendum, but the BOE has always been reluctant to run up against the limit and it wouldn’t surprise me if they do nothing with the millage rate.

Time will tell.

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